Recently in an article by Time Healthland, Leslie Boyer, director of the Venom Immunochemistry, Pharmacology and Emergency Response Institute at the University of Arizona, discussed the FDA’s approval of Scorpion Anti-venom. “This is historic,”she said.
All known scorpion species possess venom and use it primarily to kill or paralyze their prey so that it can be eaten; in general it is fast-acting, allowing for effective prey capture. It is also used as a defense against predators. The venom is a mixture of compounds (neurotoxins, enzyme inhibitors, etc.) each not only causing a different effect, but possibly also targeting a specific animal. Of the 1000+ known species of scorpion, only 25 have venom that is dangerous to humans.
When a human is stung, the venom causes extreme nausea, violent vomiting, slurred speech and blurred vision. And in children — the most common victims — the venom triggers nerves that cause their entire bodies to twitch and jerk, their eyes to roll around in their heads, and their breathing to become labored.
Boyer led clinical trials on 2,000 people for the drug, known as Anascorp, at 26 hospitals in Arizona and one in Las Vegas. The results were dramatic, with children’s symptoms disappearing within hours. Boyer said the FDA’s approval of Anascorp couldn’t come at a better time. Read more.